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The execution of the squat:

  1. Inhale and tighten your abs and core well.
  2. Step under the support that the bar rests on and place the bar against or under your trapezius.
  3. Grab the bar with both hands (the distance between both hands depends on your build).
  4. Take one or two steps back and keep your feet parallel (or toes slightly out), about shoulder width apart.
  5. Exhale and repeat bracing: tighten your core, buttocks and back.
  6. Push your knees forward in line with your feet and lower your buttocks without rounding the back (spine).
  7. Drop as deep as possible. Make sure you keep your back in a neutral position .
  8. Come up and exhale at the end of the movement.
  9. Repeat the movement.

Important for the squat:

Variations on the squat:

Is deep squatting dangerous?

No, deep squatting is not dangerous, provided your technique is in order. If you squat deeply and keep your back in a neutral position, it’s no problem.

So make sure that you do not choose a weight above your power. One option is to work on the mobility of your ankle and hip. Coach Nick explains below how to do this.

How do you squat deeper?

There are several factors that determine the squat depth, including the (im) balance of muscles, muscle coordination, flexibility of the muscles,  mobility of the joints and muscle strength. In general, the main limiting factors are:

Note: many athletes start too heavy and with poor squat technique. This often results in annoying injuries to the lower back and knees. So start with a light weight and find an expert trainer who can help you squat deeper.

Is a deep squat safe?

As it now seems, deep squats are not unsafe for people with healthy knees, hips and back [8] . A deep squat is risky if you have bad posture (especially your lower back and knees). If you use a lot of weight and keep your back rounded, you run the risk of nasty back injuries.

The choice of deep squat mainly depends on the technique and the training goal. As a powerlifter it is necessary to do deep squats, but a bodybuilder can perform shallow squats for a while to accentuate certain muscles.

It is also unwise to squat deeply if you suffer from a so-called patellofemoral problem and abnormalities such as chondromalacia, arthrosis and osteochondritis. In these cases, consult a physiotherapist or sports doctor first.

What is a deep squat good for?

Tips for learning to squat deeper

Don’t think that you can squat very deep in one week thanks to a number of simple tips. Learning to squat properly requires a lot of time and attention. Sometimes months or years! The squat is one of the most technical and difficult exercises. There are a few simple tips that may help with a deeper squat:

(Mobility) exercises to learn to squat deeper

Watch the video below with 6 (mobility) exercises to learn to squat deeper.

What is the butt wink and what can you do about it?

A butt wink is a bend (flexion) of the spine. In principle this is not a problem (without weight), but if you squat with a heavy weight and a curved back, your spine is in too poor a position to absorb this.

When you squat with a butt wink you have a greater chance of back problems such as sciatica, spit and hernia. It is therefore important to avoid a butt wink. Do you want to know more about the butt wink? Then read this article .

Squat on your toes

Squatting on your toes is dangerous because it makes you less stable. You can probably imagine that if you fall over with 200 kilos on your neck / back, there are very unpleasant consequences.

What to do: leave your heels on the floor at all times. It can help to buy special lifters shoes to keep better contact with the ground.

Dropping your knees inward

Your knee is a hinge joint: it only wants to bend in one direction and if you press it inward during the squat, it wears faster.

What to do: Keep your knees in line with your toes when performing any movement. You put your feet about hip-width apart and generally place the toes slightly outwards.

Release tension in the back

If people do a lot of repetitions with a weight that is too light, it sometimes happens that the tension is taken off the back. The hips fly in all directions and the back assumes a convex position. This is a lot more unstable, more risky and leads to poorer performance.

What to do: just keep your back tensioned. Make sure to tighten the abs and glutes and make a controlled movement.

Do you want more such useful tips? Then view the e-book Strong & Muscular .

Benefits of the squat exercise

It’s a functional movement

You actually use the squat movement, knee bending, in a lot of daily activities. For example when you lift a weight off the floor and when you sit down and get up. If you learn to squat, you will see that daily activities are easier for you because you have more muscle strength and are better used to the movement.

Squats are good for the whole body

You will probably think that squats are only good for your legs. But it doesn’t stop there. The nice thing about the squat  is that your upper body also benefits from such a complex movement. You also train your core . This ensures that you stay upright and your spine can be in a neutral position  .

Squatting is good for your muscles and tendons

The squat allows your muscles and tendons to handle more stress and makes them stronger [1] . By choosing the right load, you reduce the risk of injuries in other sports. This is especially important for athletes who move a lot and make twists and turns that put a lot of pressure on the knees. For example, for football players it is important to have strong ankle straps and sufficient knee stability. Squats can help with this, among other things.

Make sure you do not overload the muscles and tendons. Choosing the right training load is essential . Overload is lurking.

Provide more mobility in the hip and ankle joint

The squat provides more mobility of the hip and ankle joint. Make sure you don’t drop further than your body allows with a correct technique. You want to prevent your lower back from bulging at all times. So always keep a neutral lower back throughout the movement.

Note: a deep squat is not for everyone. It requires a harmonious cooperation of your joints and muscles. It is important that the feet remain firmly on the floor, while the hips move down between the legs. The spine to lower back maintains its natural arch as much as possible and must be stable under load. The upper body must be blocked during the exercise and function as a support for the spine. Tilt the pelvis a bit further and hold the barbell firmly on the trapezius, aka your aconite muscle, with your arms.

All these directions require focus and precision, and a good deep squat is not possible for everyone. Some people have such a build that it is not possible to do a good or full squat. Hip and ankle mobility can be limited, making a half squat sometimes impossible. Would you like to know more about this topic and what you can do about it? Then read this article about deeper squats.

You burn more fat through more muscle mass

Do you want a lower fat percentage ? Squats can help you with this! For every kilogram of muscle mass you develop from squats, you burn an extra 20-30 calories per day [2] . At first glance, that doesn’t seem like much. But on an annual basis it really counts!

It’s cool

Squats become really fun after a while as you make progress in technique, movement and weight. After a while it gets really nice to sink down with a bar in your neck and come up again. So simple, but so effective.

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